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BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 & 2.
|RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. MORE INFO >>>|
With surprisingly decent rock, this route provides an enjoyable aid climb to an outstanding summit.
From the Valley of the Gods Road, park on the southeast side of the tower (37.2733, -109.8700). Hike west around the south side of the summit massive and then north to the west side of the tower. Climb up a loose dirt slope to the base of the west face (all class 2). The approach takes ~ 45 minutes and is ~ 1.5 miles long.
The climb starts up a thin crack ~50 feet right of the northern prow of the bathtub.
I would recommend climbing the route in three pitches due to a rope eating crack 25 feet up. Rope drag could be highly problematic.
P1 - The crux of the entire climb starts right off the ground. Aid through a series of two small roofs with a mantle to a sizable ledge; this section of the climb has the worst rock on the route. 5.8 C2-, 25 feet.
P2 Improving rock quality makes this pitch fun. From the ledge, continue up a thin finger crack for 20 feet, traverse right and continue up another thin crack (small TCUs and small X4s useful) passing a fixed pin along the way. Near the top, the crack widens and small roof will need to be conquered. Fix from a good bolt/piton anchor. 5.9 C1, 100 feet.
Walk 200 feet south to the base of the summit tower. The fixed anchor DR4 mentions is in bad shape (small star-drive and questionable pin) and is not recommended for a belay.
P3 Scramble 4th class up some blocks to a bedding seam and fixed anchor. Climb up the right thin crack through a physical and exposed roof (ball nuts and small cams extremely helpful). Once through the roof, reach a ledge and then traverse left to a wider crack in the center of the face. Watch rope drag. Continue up the wide crack to a pin anchor. 5.6 C1, 80 feet.
Scramble 3rd class (20 feet) to the tippy-top.
Rappel the route (Double 60M ropes required). A single 70M MIGHT work for the second rappel.
Not knowing what to expect we took a large rack but this would suffice:
Four BD #0.3s, triple BD #0.4-0.75, double BD #1-3 and a single #4. Double or triple set of TCUs/X4s or small aliens. A #2 ball nut was fairly crucial on pitch 2. Set of nuts and RPs.
Did not use tri-cams, offset cams or hooks.
BETA PHOTO: West face of Lady in the Bathtub.
By Dougald MacDonald
Mar 20, 2016
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b C1+
This is a very good tower route, engaging and varied, with mostly good rock by Valley standards. We did it in three pitches (recommended):
Pitch 1: Very short, straightforward aid. Followed free at mid to upper 5.10.
Pitch 2: Led free at low-end-ish but sustained 5.10. Many interesting sections and decent pro, with emphasis on small cams (tiny to 0.5). Surprisingly, it felt like the crux was near the top, in a good but awkward hand crack. Save something small to protect the overhanging exit grovel (we went right). This is a fun lead, and it it were on Castle Valley rock it would be a renowned pitch, but....
Pitch 3: As described here and in guidebook. Walk to the east past bolt anchor to fourth-class step onto pedestal. Poor bolted anchor below roof (better to belay 20 feet down on ledge). Short section of overhanging aid, traverse left, and then follow fun diagonal crack back right to the top.
Descend the route with two rappels (and reversing 3rd class traverse). A single 70-meter rope is fine. A single 60 probably won't reach the ground.